Sunday, December 5, 2010

sweetness in the sour - lyme disease diagnosis

For those of you who have been praying for my health for so long (thank you!), here's an update. We're coming up on four years since my cluster headaches began and are somewhere in the middle of my eighth year with acute migraines, but I have never been so aware of the faithfulness of God and His power to sustain and keep a girl together. Yesterday, I tested positive for Lyme Disease; a disease which, YES (!! happy dance !!), can be treated. The doctor who has stuck with us for the last 19 years believes this is the answer to most of my pain.

Over the years, we've seen doctors all over the country and and have thought a lot of different diagnoses and treatments were "the answer." Of course, this one may fall through as well, but it feels so good to hope, you know?

Last night, after my mom started talking with friends who have fought their own cases of Lyme, we discovered that just one month of antibiotics would probably not get rid of my headaches. Once symptoms become neurological, and if you've had the disease for a long time, it may take two years before they go away. Those 'two years' began to feel like an eternity as another cycle of cluster headache episodes kicked in around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. The idea of knowing I'd keep experiencing that kind of pain was so overwhelming, I started crying when a waiter asked how I was doing. I'm fine.

This morning, I woke up to the words of Psalm 125: "Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever." Who do I trust? What do I long for? Where is my hope? In doctors, in the dream of a pain-free life, in myself? As long as my trust is all over the place rather than in God alone, I'll not only move, but experience has shown that I'll completely fall apart.

"I don't know when this season of pain will be over. Maybe, in God's grace and wisdom, He'll say, 'Enough!' and banish the pain within the hour. Or maybe He'll say, 'Enough!' allowing me to step out of this long-disabled, deteriorating temporary housing into my 'building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands' (2 Cor. 5:1).

"In the meantime, these afflictions of mine - this very season of multiplied pain - is the background against which God has commanded me to show forth His praise. It's also that thing that I am to reckon as 'good and acceptable and perfect,' according to Romans 12. God bids me that I not only seek to accept it, but to embrace it, knowing full well that somewhere way down deep - in a secret place I have yet to see - lies my highest good.

"Yes, I pray that my pain might be removed, that it might cease; but more so, I pray for the strength to bear it, the grace to benefit from it, and the devotion to offer it up to God as a sacrifice of praise. My strength in prayer these days is scant - I'll confess that. So for all the concentration I can muster in prayer, I must not dissipate it in seeking physical blessings only. Rather, I must spend a good portion of it seeking spiritual growth and praying for Christ's kingdom to go forth into this dark world. For such prayers are a way for me to know God and to know Him deeper, higher, richer, wider, and fuller - much fuller than if I comfortably cruised through life in my wheelchair.

"To this point, as I pen this chapter, He has not chosen not to heal me, but to hold me.

"The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace."

(Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing)

"Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds His people,
from this time forth and forevermore." (Psalm 125)


Anonymous said...

Dearest sweet Katie, this is Jennifer Hougham's mom, Laurie. First, I have to tell you what a special gift from God you are! You also have been given a special gift/aptitude for writing. Through your suffering, a writer has emerged. God has been with you for many years of deep, dark, difficult times showing you who He is, what He is all about, and who you are in Him. Praise God you are still looking to Him for everything. He is your constant, and He is your Great Physician. In regards to Lyme, do not despair. Everyone is unique. Some may take two years, one year, etc, to recover/be healed from Lyme. Like you expressed, God can do it in an instant. Don't hang onto the timeframe as much as continuing to hang onto God and His promises for you. You are wise to keep holding onto God for hope, strength, peace, joy, love, and everything. He will see you through it all, no matter how long it takes. We pray, Father God, thank you for watching over and helping Katie, her family, doctors, testings, treatments, and all involved with Katie's complete diagnosis, treatment, healing and restoration. We pray for Your continued love, strength, trust, perserverance, shalom peace, healing, and everything good in Katie, in Yeshua Jesus' name amen! Love from and in Him, your friends and family in Christ, Laurie, Jen and family

Morgan said...

Katie, you are in my prayers! I am so thankful for the diagnosis, for the healing that can now begin... I pray that the Lord blesses you with a quick recovery... thank you for being such an inspiration of honesty and praise.

Abby Fields said...

Katie, you encourage me so much! I'm excited that you have hopefully found a cure! You will continue to be in my prayers and, as you know, I'm always here for you! I love you! :-)

Post a Comment